Jean Shiomoto

May 2017

Jean Shiomoto updates us on her busy and exciting opportunities as AAMVA Chair

“AAMVA has me on the road,” says Jean Shiomoto, AAMVA’s very busy Chair of the Board and Director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. She has been on the go over the past few months, attending AAMVA meetings and representing the association at meetings around North America.

“At the end of January, I attended the Washington Auto Show. I was on a panel there talking about Autonomous Vehicles. AASHTO and AAMVA sponsored a group where we talked with trade associations about autonomous vehicles and I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of local governments. Then I was on the road to the IRP Board Meeting. Then after that, AAMVA extended an invitation to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, so Anne and I and Ian and Cian and Philippe, we got the chance to spend some time with Secretary Chao and introduce her to AAMVA. It was a great meeting – we got to share with her our initiatives and extend an invitation for Secretary Chao to attend our Annual International Conference in San Francisco, so that was really great.”

Up next for our busy Chair was a stop at AAMVA headquarters for the AAMVA Board of Directors meeting, April 18-20. She’ll be returning to Arlington next month for the AAMVA Leadership Academy, then AAMVA conference season kicks off with the Region IV Conference in Seattle, Washington, May 21-24. For her, the busy schedule is well worth it.

“It’s very important for AAMVA, and me as the Chair, to be out and about representing AAMVA and what we do to members of these different organizations and getting our name out there,” says Shiomoto. “I went to an autonomous vehicle mobility summit in Contra Costa, and Neil Pedersen who is the Executive Director of the Transportation Research Board was on a panel on autonomous vehicles, and he gave a shout out to AAMVA three times, recognizing AAMVA’s work with Autonomous Vehicles. I thought that was really great for us to be out there in the different jurisdictions, getting AAMVA’s good work out there.”

“It’s a recognition that I see on a national level that AAMVA is getting,” she says. “The great work that AAMVA does is really getting recognized by outside organizations, especially the work AAMVA does on autonomous vehicles and the recognition AAMVA is getting from NHTSA. So I think for us as an organization, the recognition on a national level – I really appreciate that and I want to continue that work.”

In addition to all of her travelling, Chair Shiomoto is also preparing to host the 2017 AAMVA Annual International Conference in San Francisco.

“We’ve got topics lined up, I’m working on reaching out to different entities in the San Francisco area,” she says. “We’re close to Silicon Valley, so hopefully we’ll be able to put together some great panels on the future of technology. I’m reaching out on some of the interests I have especially related to autonomous vehicles, so hopefully we might be able to see an autonomous vehicle or two. We’re lining up guest speakers, and I’m really excited about that. In terms of the conference, we want to make sure everyone gets out there. I’ve heard a lot of great comments about people wanting to come out early or stay later, and take advantage of being out there in San Francisco.”

A word of advice from our Chair – if you plan on coming to the conference early or staying after the conference is over for sight-seeing or dining at some of the amazing restaurants the city has to offer, plan ahead. “Start making your reservations now,” she says, “because some of those restaurants get booked up pretty quick. Scope out what you would like to do either before or after the conference, you might have to buy tickets ahead of time, and they may be sold out by the time you get to San Francisco.”

Also, she says, keep in mind that San Francisco can get a little chilly, even at the end of the summer. “August is a little bit cool in San Francisco, it’s not our summertime. So you may need to bring a light jacket or sweater because there’s a bit of a chill in the evening. But come prepared to have a good time!”